Hello, I am new to this community. I recently went to the doctor for a main concern of iron deficiency–I am losing hair by the fistful off and on for the past several years and more recently for the past several months in a row, fatigue/weakness, brain fog, restless legs for about the last year, extremely pale, heart arrhythmia and palpitations worsening for the past few years. I have seen cardiology off and on for the past 2 years and they ran some basic blood work, did EKGS, 30 day holter monitor and echo and said my tests came back normal and wanted to put me on a beta blocker which I ultimately decided not to take because 1) it gave me headaches and 2)hair loss was a very common side effect. So fast-forwarding back to my visit a few weeks ago with my PCP, she checked CBC/CMP/Thyroid/Vit D/Iron panel and I found out that not only did I have very bad iron deficiency anemia, I also found out I was Vitamin D deficient at a level of 20. She prescribed me the Vitamin D2 50,000 to take weekly for 3 months but after reading about people’s side effects from it online, I was too scared to take it. Instead I went to the store and purchased some VitaFusion D3 gummies and have been taking two (2000 units) daily.Now upon reading some Q&A on your website it appears the 2000 units I’ve been taking daily is not nearly enough. I am 34 years old, 5’7" and 147lbs. What is your advice and do you think the megadose of 50,000 units is safe? And are the possible effects of being vitamin D deficient reversible with treatment–I worry about having brittle bones now at such a young age! I am really hoping that treating my iron deficiency and vitamin d deficiency will be the answer to treating all these horrible symptoms I’ve had for the past few years. Thank you in advance, I am so glad I found your website!
Hi SammmyC! First we only recommend taking D3 and not D2. D3 is what humans make naturally. Next when you have a deficiency you need to take more until it is corrected. After that you need to take a maintenance dosage, forever. You need to confirm to me that you either live in the USA or how was your Vitamin D measured, as ng/ml OR nmol/l. It makes a big difference. So I would recommend that you take 8000iu a day of D3 for 8 weeks. It is better to take smaller amounts on a DAILY basis rather than large weekly or monthly doses. At the end of 8 weeks you need to be retested to make sure you reach a “healthy” level. In the USA this healthy level is 50ng/ml(if measured as nmol/l then it is 125). At levels below 40ng/ml(100nmol/l) your chance for cancer and autoimmune disease rises “dramatically”. Once you are treated and feel fine, then you can take a maintenance dosage of 5000iu, forever. So “yes” it is reversible with treatment. If at the end of 8 weeks all of your symptoms have not resolved, then stay on the 8000iu and come back and tell me. It is VERY important to read http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/. It explains the co-factors that Vitamin D needs to operate. I usually warn people if your diet does not contain enough magnesium, you will probably get symptoms from taking the D. Since you have been taking smaller amounts this might not be a problem at this moment but switching to a higher amount may or may not. If you have any more questions please ask!
Hi, yes I live in the USA and I double checked the copy of my labs the the Vitamin D was measured in ng/ml. I actually ended up breaking down and taking the 50,000u D2 yesterday after being talked in to it by a family member. So if I am to start taking the 8,000 units on a daily basis instead of the once weekly 50,000 when should I start taking it since I just took that mega-dose yesterday? How many ‘points’ would you expect me to go up in 8 weeks? Do you think the Vitafusion brand D3 gummies are good to take? And do you recommend taking the 8,000u at once every day or dividing up the doses throughout the day? Sorry for all the questions! Thank you!
I would wait just two or three days and start taking the D3. I realize these amounts seem huge but the 50,000iu actually equals a little over 1mg and 8000iu equals 200mcg. Now it doesn’t sound as bad does it! At the end of 8 weeks, I would hope that you would make it to 50ng/ml or above but this is why we recommend retesting. In your case you have a lot of extreme symptoms. It might take you longer than most people to get better OR you might need to take a higher amount to get better. Only time will tell. I don’t usually try and comment on brands but it should be OK. Just another reason to retest and if levels are not moving, then maybe time to switch brands. (There is only one the VDC recommends and that is Biotech.) It does not mean other brands are not as effective, there is just no over site when it comes to vitamin production and Biotech has good over site in place. You do not have to “break it up” during the day. I would take it all at once, in the morning, with food that has a little “fat” in it for better absorption. Are you having any type of “gut” issues that could lead to non absorption? You said you looked back on your results, so if you have them could you supply any results to any and all thyroid tests? Just to warn you there are computer “glitches” on my end and sometimes it take a while for my posts to show up.
I don’t think I’m having any gut issues… The last several years I have had issues with frequent bloating which is worse with dairy so I do not drink milk–I drink soy milk instead. My bowels have changed recently but that started when I began taking the iron supplements a couple weeks ago for the anemia so I attribute it to that. Looking at my labs, the thyroid levels she checked were TSH which was 0.66 uIU/ml and Free T4 which was 0.99 ng/dL.
Thank you for all the helpful advice! I do have 2 more questions–1)On my lab report it says 30-80ng/ml is normal. Is there a ‘perfect’ number I should strive for my D level to be? And 2)I’ve read that hair loss is a common symptom of Vitamin D deficiency. Assuming someone’s hair fell out solely because of a D deficiency, do you know anything about the probability of their hair coming back after they reach normal levels again?
For most people we aim for a level of 50ng/ml. It would be better to be above 50ng/ml then at or below 40ng/ml. Yes, your hair should come back if it is just Vitamin D related. It might take some time, though. Come back and let me know how you are feeling and what your level is once treated for the 8 weeks. If not fully well, we will go from there but will hope that you are.